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What is API Testing? - Discover the Benefits

Communication between software components is handled by an API (Application Programming Interface). Discover the advantages of automated API testing.

Until the modifications are introduced to production, smart companies take advantage of API testing and so do you. In both staging and production environments, API's must be checked to ensure that the software framework meets the specifications.

Let's discuss how, through how your team approaches your research plan, your team can get the benefits of API testing.

What is API Testing? Application Programming Interface is often called as API. An API is a set of methods and procedures that developers "open up" to other programmers to have their applications communicate and interact with other applications. Once an API is built, it is necessary to test the interface to provide truly secure, reliable and scalable connections between platforms.

API testing helps identify early issues and is different from UI testing. An API receives requests and sends back responses through internet protocols including, HTTP and SMTP. API tests investigate applications that have varying API functionalities and vary the API call's parameters in different ways that verify functionality and expose failures.

API testing can be done on the below aspects:

  • Functional Testing
  • Load Testing
  • Security Testing

Functional Testing checks API's functionality, Takes payload in the form of JSON or XML and provides the response code and response body. Load Testing checks the performance under the specific load and determines how much traffic the API can handle before being overloaded. Security Testing checks vulnerabilities like authentication and sensitive data is encrypted over HTTP and includes penetration testing validating authentication.

Advantages of API testing during Software development

1. Time efficiency

API Testing doesn't require GUI to be ready and it can be performed way early in the development cycle. The Automated API tests provide much quicker test results and significantly accelerate development workflows; thus, it helps you speed up the feedback loop and catch issues faster.

In addition to that, API tests are significantly less time-consuming when compared to UI Tests. UI Tests spend much time rendering and loading the web pages and interface elements, whereas can execute API tests in seconds. Let's take an example where a user needs to register and login from UI takes at least 3 to 5 minutes, whereas API testing takes less than 30 seconds.

2. Reduced costs

It is very closely connected with time efficiency.

The cost efficiency benefit is closely connected with the previous one. Automated API tests' increased execution speed leads to more effective/efficient resource consumption and lower overall testing costs.

API tests can be executed as early as the business logic is defined and before any GUI testing. So it will help you to identify the issue at the early stage. Early identification means the less expensive it is to fix it and Reduces the cost of Application changes. API testing enables the QA team to detect and resolve issues before they become a production problem, keeping project costs at bay.

3. Technology Independent

API tests are Language Independent, Since the data is interchanged using JSON or XML and compromised HTTP requests and HTTP responses. So the QA team is free to choose the language of their choice that supports these technologies((JavaScript, Java, Ruby, Python, PHP, etc.).

4. Greater tests stability

While GUI's are dynamic and may change to accommodate new requests from stakeholders and users, API interfaces are very much stable. APIs typically come with detailed documentation, and any changes are reflected there so that QA engineers can adjust their test suites timely. And due to this inherent stability, API tests are also much easier to maintain.

5. Improved test coverage

Unlike unit tests, automated API tests are generally broader in scope and detail. While unit tests are focused on the limited functionality of components within a single application, problems often arise at the intersection where one layer's scope ends and the other begins.

You won't find these issues with unit tests, but API-level tests are specifically designed to verify that all system components function as intended. API testing helps uncover potential defects in the interfaces, servers, and databases, improving the overall software quality and contributing to better user experiences.

Efficiency gains associated with an API testing tool can include:

  • This will increase the number of test cycles a QA team can complete in a given timeframe.
  • This will increase the number and variety of tests performed in a given timeframe.
  • This will reduce the amount of time spent on manually executing tests before UAT.

Conclusion: API testing is recognized as a better fit for Continuous Testing in Agile methodologies. Not adequately tested APIs may cause issues at the API application and the calling application. It is a necessary test in software engineering.

Surendranath Reddy Birudala

Written by Surendranath Reddy Birudala


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